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US Charges Edward Snowden With Espionage 442

Posted by timothy
from the hey-the-paperwork-takes-a-few-weeks dept.
cold fjord writes "Further developments in the controversy engulfing Edward Snowden and the NSA. From the Washington Post: "Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant,... Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property ... The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden's former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered, and a district with a long track record in prosecuting cases with national security implications...it is thought that he is still in the Chinese territory. Hong Kong has its own legislative and legal systems but ultimately answers to Beijing, under the so-called "one country, two systems" arrangement. The leaks have sparked national and international debates about the secret powers of the NSA to infringe on the privacy of both Americans and foreigners. Officials from President Obama down have said they welcomed the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs, and the safeguards they say are built into them. Skeptics, including some in Congress, have said the NSA has assumed power to soak up data about Americans that were never intended under the law."""
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US Charges Edward Snowden With Espionage

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:17PM (#44074911)

    The reason prosecutors charged him with espionage is because its a much easier case to make, but this realy is a textbook case of treason. Just look at the damn US Constitution

    "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." If Snowden hasn't committed treason using this definition, I don't know what is then.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:35PM (#44075051)

    Snowden swore an oath when he took his security clearance. It is essentially the same one sworn by soldiers.

    The first thing he does is swear to protect the constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic. And finally to follow the orders of his chain of command and perform the duties of his position.

    Snowden was put in a position where following the last part of the oath would violate the first part, and following the first part would violate the last part.

    And he chose his duty to the constitution and the citizens it protects over the dictates of his chain of command. And that makes him a hero.

  • In the empire... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday June 21, 2013 @06:38PM (#44075083)
    In the empire of lies, truth is treason.
    -Ron Paul
  • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:03PM (#44075329)

    Because:
    Officials from President Obama down have said they welcomed the opportunity to explain the importance of the programs...

    But only to secret judges on secret courts.

    Same story, different day. They are speaking publicly, but not everyone is listening, paying attention, or caring.

    NSA director: Surveillance foiled 50 terror plots [usatoday.com]
    FBI deputy director: NSA foiled NYC bombing plots [washingtonpost.com]
    NSA director says surveillance foiled plot against Wall Street [komonews.com]

    Intelligence officials last week disclosed some details on two thwarted attacks - one targeting the New York subway system, one to bomb a Danish newspaper office that had published the cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammad. Alexander and Sean Joyce, deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, offered additional details on two other foiled plots, including one targeting Wall Street.

    Under questioning, Joyce said the NSA was able to identify an extremist in Yemen who was in touch with an individual in Kansas City, Mo. They were able to identify co-conspirators and thwart a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.

    Joyce also said a terrorist financier inside the U.S. was identified and arrested in October 2007, thanks to a phone record provided by the NSA. The individual was making phone calls to a known designated terrorist group overseas.

    It doesn't matter how much they disclose if you don't listen. Maybe they should send the stories to Wikileaks, maybe then it would get people's attention.

    Both of those specific instances were calls made overseas, and many people are ok with the NSA looking at international calls. So remind me again why they are watching all of our domestic calls? If they see a call to a foreign terrorist organization, they can use a good old fashioned court order to get the phone records from the domestic end of the call. No need for the NSA to collect all of the data.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:18PM (#44075439) Journal

    Yea well, if the NSA doesn't have a positive ID on you (and they don't try very hard) you get the foreigner rules applied to you.

    Plus, even if they do later find out that you are a US citizen, they still get to keep the data that they hold about you.

    It's completely backwards. Any purely domestic phone call should be presumed to be between US people (citizens, legal residents). The bill of rights does not make a distinction between citizens and other people living in the USA, probably because, at the time of writing, many immigrants did not bother to become citizens. Email may be a little more difficult, but the ISPs could be asked to provide only communications that originate from, are delivered to, or are accessed (webmail, imap, pop) from a non-US IP address.

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:18PM (#44075441)

    Only if you consider American citizens enemies of the American government.

    Apparently you confuse the Taliban, al Qaida, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, et. al., with American citizens. You tell the world and everybody knows, including the very terrorists against whom you are trying to protect the American people. He could have gone to the inspector general or Congress, but didn't. Who knows what the damage will be?

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Friday June 21, 2013 @07:24PM (#44075483) Journal

    Under questioning, Joyce said the NSA was able to identify an extremist in Yemen who was in touch with an individual in Kansas City, Mo. They were able to identify co-conspirators and thwart a plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange.

    Furthermore, this story has already been discredited. There was no plan. The "extremist" asked for a document about the NYSE, got a one-page brief that he discarded and dropped any further plans. The intelligence that the NSA got had no impact on the outcome.

  • "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort." If Snowden hasn't committed treason using this definition, I don't know what is then.

    You're probably trolling, but the simple answer here is

    a) He has not levied war against any of the States or the whole of them, and
    b) If he has given aid or comfort to enemies, then you should be able to name those and state the aid and/or comfort given them.

    If you can spin either of those into a charge that will hold up in court, I'll be impressed.

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